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GCSEs and A levels may be delayed next year

(33 Posts)
Orangeblossom78 Mon 22-Jun-20 17:04:49

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53142368?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/coronavirus&link_location=live-reporting-story

OP’s posts: |
Orangeblossom78 Mon 22-Jun-20 17:07:11

The secondary here have plans for mock GCSEs after Christmas this coming year (Yr 10) It is new to us so I'm unsure if that is usual or not.

In reading this my first thoughts were it may then be a rush after results for the next years study - applying to either 6th form or university.

OP’s posts: |
Baaaahhhhh Mon 22-Jun-20 17:26:01

Mocks are usually either just before of after Xmas, so that's normal.

I shall not be impressed. We are not going on holiday this year due to Covid, and next year would have been a big early blow out, right after A Level exams. If they are delayed DD (and we) will be devastated.

I was also wondering how they will turn around the marking that quick, unless they cut the exams down.

daisychicken Mon 22-Jun-20 17:28:45

Ugh.. we changed this years holiday (supposed to be after A levels for DS1) to next year and now it might clash with ds2's GCSEs! Really really hope it doesn't clash!

Keepdistance Mon 22-Jun-20 18:43:17

Yes i think it's an issue for people with holiday booked.

Lemons1571 Mon 22-Jun-20 19:18:11

Pushing the exams back 4 weeks or so isn’t going to make up for the 13 weeks missed. 2 weeks before Easter and 11 weeks summer term. Even with this additional tutoring the gov are allegedly paying for. They would also need to take a fair bit of the content out of each subject.

Lemons1571 Mon 22-Jun-20 19:20:20

Might also be an issue for the markers, a lot of whom are teachers themselves, who will be away on holiday from the third week of July onwards and therefore not available for marking.

Kahiki Mon 22-Jun-20 19:25:52

I know nothing about exams so forgive me if I’m being dim but couldn’t they lower the grade boundaries? So if before 90% was an A change it to 80% etc.

EasterBuns Mon 22-Jun-20 19:28:53

They can’t just lower the grade boundaries as this would pass the problem on to sixth form or university for those students progressing in certain subjects. First year degree is hard enough without having missed a term of A levels.

ineedaholidaynow Mon 22-Jun-20 19:34:44

The main issue with the exams is that schools don’t follow the same timetable for the syllabus, so you can’t just cut content as schools won’t have taught in the same order.

Also some schools have continued teaching new topics, some have not. So pupils are not at the same level due to the schools rather than to the fact the pupils haven’t been working hard.

meditrina Mon 22-Jun-20 19:34:57

They seem to be suggesting moving the exams from May/June to June/July

I'm not sure that adding an extra 4 weeks is gong to make up for loss of a whole term (possibly more if all pupils are back part time, not full time, in autumn).

But it sounds good for now, as they're doing something that will be achievable and will have a positive effect, even if it is rather smaller than the amount lost.

cptartapp Mon 22-Jun-20 19:36:43

Push them back. Fine by me and I have a current year 12 and year 10 who would benefit from the few extra weeks catch up.
Wish they'd decide on dates and plans, waiting to book a holiday!

Lemons1571 Mon 22-Jun-20 19:42:41

@Kahiki it also occurred to me that although lowering the grade boundaries might be part of the solution, it would also create the need for a completely new exam technique. Students would need to ignore questions on subjects they don’t recognise and move on quickly, rather than spending time trying to work out if they’d covered the content for that topic or not (there could well be grey areas). It could easily throw kids who don’t recognise the subject that question 1 is on, and they’d panic and flunk the rest of the exam.

Aragog Mon 22-Jun-20 19:47:54

I think a possible better option, after chatting with friends about this, might be a much longer paper BIT with many more options to select from, and less to to have actually do. So students don't have to have covered the entire curriculum, but can question spot from the sections they have done.

Not sure I've done a very good job if desire go what I mean though.

Can't see how pushing exams back by 4 weeks will equal 13 missed school now though.

And what about the marking time? Will results day then be pushed back to allow for examiners to mark, and get grades in place. But how can it be pushed back when sixth form entry and university entry rely on it.

ineedaholidaynow Mon 22-Jun-20 19:50:22

The papers have already been written

HugeAckmansWife Mon 22-Jun-20 20:00:38

Kids, especially at GCSE often screw up by doing a section they haven't been taught, too many questions etc No matter how many times you go over it, make them repeat it, show them, practise it, it still happens. It would be the easier solution by far.. If there are 6 topics, kids usually do 4, next year they do 3 from the choice of 6 so schools aren't wrong footed in what order they've taught.
Grade boundaries change every year anyway. They are set after marking has happened to reflect the cohort spread. Papers will vary from year to year, being a bit harder or easier so it accounts for that.

HugeAckmansWife Mon 22-Jun-20 20:02:20

Posted too soon. So a choice of questions would be best in theory but I can see a lot of kids messing it up. % wise, I suspect the boundaries will be lower next year because the outcomes will be less good overall.

BackInTime Mon 22-Jun-20 20:07:52

Reduce the number of papers and exams, the number of tests is ridiculous anyway. Perhaps do 30% coursework or teacher assessment.

Cathpot Mon 22-Jun-20 20:09:33

Im sure there are consequences Ive not thought through in terms of marking etc but on the face of it I would really appreciate a bit more breathing space with my current year 10 . A great deal can be achieved in those last few weeks before exams as the students tend to be more motivated to really put the work in so it’s not necessarily an equivalent 4 weeks to the back end of the summer term.

cptartapp Mon 22-Jun-20 20:46:49

How can students move onto A levels though not having fully covered the curriculum? For something like maths, that's essential surely?

myrtleWilson Mon 22-Jun-20 20:53:14

I'd worry about the turn around time for marking - particularly for current yr 12's for those going on to (or hoping to) University.

I wonder whether a combination of teacher assessment and altered exams would work?

HugeAckmansWife Mon 22-Jun-20 22:34:02

I can't speak for all subjects but many of them, you can pick up A level without having studied gcse. You can't just fur whole papers now as, as a pp said, schools will have taught things in a different order. I suppose they could change it so you enter for specific papers but they aren't all weighted equally either.

strugglingwithdeciding Mon 22-Jun-20 22:55:46

Pissed off with this had to cancel this years holiday so used the money towards a bigger holiday next year for just after exam time as both ds would be finishing exams and likely to be last holiday they to come with us on
Too move to august would cost us over £2000 more which we simply cant afford
Exams are taken may and june anyway so taking in to july would mean only delayed around 4 weeks
They have missed 12 already with no guarantee there wont be further shutdowns in winter or various times taken off due to having to isolate of classmates show symptoms or teachers having to take time off
I think planning for exams going ahead with so much unknown isnt a great idea and delaying a month is just to look like they are doing something
Also real short time to mark and turn around

strugglingwithdeciding Mon 22-Jun-20 23:01:05

They should never of got rid of all coursework content a at least then there would be something to grade on
Ds also doing a couple of btech and no extra time is being allowed for them and they have to just het on with them when back but at least they have done some assessments so easy to see what level they generally work at
Also july is when they have proms , college open days etc

PacificState Mon 22-Jun-20 23:02:31

I don’t know whether this is the right answer but they have to do something - younger son in year 10 has done barely anything but revision papers since March. Older son in year 12 has had constant online video teaching and has continued to power through his courses. So I’ve got a horrifying in-family illustration of how some children will be falling behind and some will be steaming ahead, neither through any fault or particular merit of their own. Kids in my younger son’s position have to be given a chance to catch up.

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